New coordinates for Switzerland

The coordinates in the 1903 national survey (LV03) contain variations of between two and three metres between Geneva and Lower Engadine. Thanks to satellite-based technologies such as GPS, however, swisstopo was able to improve its surveying methods in the 1990s and developed the new 1995 national survey (LV95).

In order to distinguish the new coordinates from the old ones, a seventh digit was prefixed to the previous six-digit coordinates: number 1 in the north-south direction, and number 2 in the east-west direction.

This resulted in precise coordinates for the surveying control points. In order to distinguish the new coordinates from the old ones, a seventh digit was prefixed to the previous six-digit coordinates: number 1 in the north-south direction, and number 2 in the east-west direction. In addition, the coordinate axes were re-designated E (east-west) and N (north-south). In the national maps, only the indication of the coordinates in the margins was changed. However, the changes are of greater significance for surveyors and building engineers, as well as for everyone who places high demands on the accuracy of their geodata.

  • The previous reference frame LV03 can no longer meet modern-day requirements.
  • The new coordinates are based on the reference frame LV95 (national survey 1995).
  • The point of origin in Bern is to be retained. The notations of these coordinates values with E = 2,600,000 m (east) and N = 1,200,000 m (north) are new.
  • The new national survey has no influence on the map content; however, new coordinate values are labelled in the margins of the map.
  • The new reference frame will be introduced canton by canton and should be fully implemented by 2016.

New coordinates - Key information in a nutshell

The basis of the current national coordinates was created more than 100 years ago. This reference frame (LV03) can no longer meet modern-day requirements. The new coordinates are based reference...

Transition of reference frames

Switzerland is currently introducing new coordinates: by the end of 2016, all federal and cantonal reference data (e.g. the Swiss cadastral system) are to be transformed to the new highly-accurate...

Questions and answers about the new coordinates

What is a reference frame or what are coordinates? Here you will find a compilation of the most frequently asked questions concerning the transition of the reference frame and the new coordinates.

Documents & Publications

Video

A video explaining the transition of reference frames


Federal Office of Topography swisstopo Seftigenstrasse 264
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3084 Wabern
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+41 58 469 01 11

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Relevant authority

Geodesy and Federal Directorate of Cadastral Surveying
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Federal Office of Topography swisstopo

Seftigenstrasse 264
P.O. Box
3084 Wabern

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